I could have been killed

Have you ever walked south on 16th Street on the right hand side across U Street? You have a light there, but then you have to cross New Hampshire with a crosswalk and no light.
View Larger Map The wife and I do it just about every day on the way to work. It’s not a problem to cross U Street, but crossing New Hampshire is a little dicey. Almost every day, someone assumes that, because they aren’t turning at a 90 degree angle, they don’t have to yield to pedestrians. Twice in the last month or so, we’ve had a car actually slow down or pull over to yell at us for getting in the way. This is all while walking in a crosswalk, by the way. The wife, being more confrontational than I, has exchanged words with some of these drivers. I emailed Jim Graham yesterday, and he has tasked a staff member with looking into it. I want them to put up a sign reminding people that they have to yield. I know it’s a funny intersection, but it’s an area with a lot of foot traffic, and it’s dangerous. It doesn’t help that many pedestrians will yield their right of way to cars. I understand the reasoning there – if you get hit by a car, your broken bones and whatnot don’t really care about the stand you were making for pedestrian’s rights. However, when you give up your right of way, you are also taking mine, because now the drivers think they’re right. So stand up for your right of way. And if you’ve ever had this trouble at this intersection, or any other, write to your councilmember. I don’t actually know who’s in charge of that area – Ward 1 and Jim Graham’s turf ends just north of there at Florida Avenue. But your councilmember would no doubt be aware of who needs to be notified. I’ll keep you posted on what he intends to do about it.

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